patton alley benefit concert: joplin

by Elizabeth Osbern

            I was so excited when I heard that Patton Alley Pub was hosting a benefit concert in honor of Joplin on Saturday, June 18th. Even though the tornado and demise of this city occurred several weeks ago, we must not forget how detrimental the devastation was and will be to the future of this town. There were nine performers who donated their time for the cause: Kim Massengill, Ryan Spilken, Steve Ames, Christopher May, Canto 17, BAM!, Slapdash Science, Big MO and The One Hit Rolling Alias Changers, and Solid Groove.
            When I arrived at the door, the concert was in full swing. I noticed in the entrance a large caldron, where donations were being accepted. I humbly put the few loose dollar bills that I had in my wallet and took a seat in one of the plush booths, in hearing range from the stage. As I ordered my red wine I nestled down to enjoy some of Springfield’s local talent.
            The first act that I saw was Steve Aims. Aims reminded me of a more rock-and-roll version of Jack Johnson, but I enjoyed his laid back vibe. His acoustic guitar blended well with the easy rhythm of the drums.  Christopher May was next in the line up. May was unaccompanied on stage and played a variety of not only original tunes, but covers as well. I especially enjoyed his version of Damian Rice’s song, “Delicate." It was not only heart-felt, but vocally amazing. On one song he was joined by drummer Dave Harp, who runs the sound at Patton Alley and owns High Strung Music, which is located on East Seminole.

            After the last two performers, I could feel that the audience was in the mood for a pick-me-up and they were not disappointed when Canto 17 took the stage.  As the band played, several patrons began to dance and I was reminded of being at a Dave Matthews Band concert.  Canto 17 played several original tunes, “Deja Vu” was my favorite, for it allowed the band to have a fun “jam” session and mixed funky with acoustic rock.  They also played some cover songs, Toto’s “Africa” being one.
            I always enjoy seeing local artists at work and was in awe that so many donated their time to come support a good cause.  My thanks also goes out to Eric Zackrison and Dave Harp, who organized the event. They couldn't have picked a more perfect venue.   This pub is the perfect music venue with it’s risen stage and professional lighting.  Even though there is a partition that separates the restaurant from the stage, you can still enjoy listening to the music as you eat your dinner and then carry your drinks over to the concert side to top off your evening.  Patton Alley not only hosted this evening's concert, but also two other events for the same cause.  Currently they have raised $1400 in support of Joplin.
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